Mental Health Help

Two local experts share some of their book recommendations on a wide variety of mental health issues including anxiety, depression, mindfulness and stress reduction.

Mental health isn’t something you have to go through alone. Dr. Robin McLeod, a psychologist and the founder and CEO of Counseling Psychologists of Woodbury, and Allison Kirk, a psychotherapist at Counseling Psychologists, offer some books that can help.

Why Smart Kids Worry And What Parents Can Do to Help
by Allison Edwards
“This is a book that lays out very specific and concrete strategies that parents can use to help their kids learn to fight back when anxiety takes over. Parents get anxious because their kids are anxious. So the strategies that the parents are using to help the kids manage anxiety actually help the parents manage their anxiety, too. It’s kind of a two-for-one.”

Staying Connected to Your Teenager: How to Keep Them Talking to You and How to Hear What They’re Really Saying

by Michael Riera
“Our roles as parents change as our kids get older. This book guides parents on how to think about themselves as a parent while having a teenager who is trying to become more independent—and how to do that in a way that you as the parent become more of their safety net and their guide.”

What to Do When Mistakes Make You Quake: A Kid’s Guide to Accepting Imperfection

by Claire A. B. Freeland and Jacqueline B. Toner
“It coaches kids to allow themselves to recognize that a mistake is an opportunity—a really fantastic thing to have happen because it’s the best way to learn. With younger kids, we have the parents and child read it together and they do one chapter at a time, and there are activities and stories in it. This is a wonderful way for them to connect and work together to make perfectionism take a back seat.”

Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life for Teens: A Guide to Living an Extraordinary Life

|by Joseph Ciarrochi, Louise Hayes and Ann Bailey
“This is kind of a step-by-step guide. The book looks at helping teens work through embarrassment or fear or self-doubt and begin to get a sense of feeling confident in who they are and being resilient in the face of stress.”

The Gifts of Imperfections

by Brené Brown
“This is a book about learning to manage your expectations of yourself and accepting the things that you can’t change. She talks about cultivating courage, compassion and connection, and that these three guideposts are what helps us to living a wholehearted life.”

The Chemistry of Joy Workbook

by Henry Emmons
“A step-by-step guide that has activities: things to think about, things to write about, exercises to do to help yourself make change now. It really focuses on the foundation of self-care—food, nutrition, mindfulness, but also helps to encourage the reader to assess their thought processes and how depression and anxiety have dictated their thoughts in a way that might not be helpful.”

The Book of Awakening
by Mark Nepo
“This book is focused on finding gratitude and spirituality and appreciation for things in life. And it has an activity at the end of each day to help the reader focus on different parts of the day and help them be more mindful."